The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) was in 36 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. WU shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months. There were 37 hedge funds in our database with WU holdings at the end of the previous quarter.
According to most traders, hedge funds are viewed as slow, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds trading today, we look at the top tier of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group oversees the majority of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their best investments, we have unsheathed a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (explore the details and some picks here).
Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are many stimuli for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).
Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the key action regarding The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU).
What does the smart money think about The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU)?
Heading into Q2, a total of 36 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -3% from the previous quarter.
Judging by the fact that The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) has experienced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there is a sect of fund managers that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the first quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors said goodbye to the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, worth about $58 million in stock.. Ahmet Okumus’s fund, Okumus Fund Management, also sold off its stock, about $46.4 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds at the end of the first quarter.
How have insiders been trading The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU)?
Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) has experienced 2 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU). These stocks are Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), and CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT). This group of stocks belong to the credit services industry and their market caps are closest to WU’s market cap.